Zuckerberg Lectures Trump About Walls Returns Home to Walled Off Compound
“Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg lashed out at Donald Trump last week at the annual developers conference over his proposed border wall paid by Mexico.
Zuckerberg (said) he heard “fearful voices calling for building walls” and halting immigration.”
…Continue reading @ thegatewaypundit.com
‘Parks And Recreation,’ Facebook and The New Privacy
– CIO / Opinion
“If you tuned into Parks And Recreation Tuesday night, you were treated to an episode where social media startup Gryzzl attempts to win over the hearts and minds of its new neighbors in the fictional town of Pawnee with boxes full of gifts, delivered via Amazon-esque drones.
The problem was that the gifts were perfect — too perfect. Gryzzl had been data mining every interaction the residents of Pawnee were having online and custom-tailoring their gifts to suit their exact interests. This didn’t go over so well, even as Gryzzl retorts that it did nothing that wasn’t perfectly legal. And besides, wasn’t everybody happy with the result?
The episode culminates in a speech given on a public access court show, where character Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott) delivers a short argument on how Gryzzl may not be breaking the law, but it obviously knows it’s not doing something good or else it would have been more forthright about the whole data mining thing.
“A person should not have to have an advanced law degree to avoid being taken advantage of by a multibillion dollar company. You should be upfront about what you’re doing and allow people the ability to opt out,” Wyatt proposes.
Don’t worry, Computerworld hasn’t become a TV review site (follow me on Twitter for my TV opinions). Nor am I suggesting that the world look to Tuesday night television for policy advice (though you could do worse than Parks And Recreation, which has won a bunch of Emmys — and how many Emmys has FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler won, huh).
But the cast and crew of Parks And Recreation hit on an important idea — not a new idea, necessarily, but one that’s reverberating around the web and that needs to be formally addressed.
We already know that privacy is the new killer app, and that events like last year’s iCloud hack and the Target data breach are turning security from a nice-to-have to a major competitive differentiator.
There’s another shift happening, too: Facebook, it is generally accepted, will never stop data mining the heck out of its users, because it makes a lot of money, and companies that make a lot of money tend to like the idea of continuing to make a lot of money. Users, who like the benefits and connections that Facebook brings to their lives, aren’t going anywhere, no matter how exploitative the means. The same goes for Google and basically any other “free” service on the Internet. Or look at Uber, which got into trouble recently for being straight-up creepy and pretty threatening towards women thanks to all the data it scrapes — but that same data is a valuable source for civic planners. It’s a give-and-take.
Creepiness is just a fact of life for people living the plugged-in lifestyle circa 2015.
Which is where Parks And Recreation comes in. What people want, more than ever, isn’t necessarily for Google to stop being creepy; people like personal data-mining services like Google Now, which can tell you when you have to leave the restaurant to catch a delayed flight without requiring your intervention at all.
No, what people want instead now is visibility — the insight to know what data, exactly, is being scraped, and the option to opt out. The choice of what to make public and what to keep private is paramount. Call it the new privacy if you have to call it anything at all.”
…Continue reading the insightful opinion piece by Matt Weinberger @ CIO.com
No Surprise: CIA Reportedly Funds Companies That Can Spy On You Via Twitter, Facebook And Instagram
– Tech Times
“The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is reportedly funding companies that spy on Twitter and Instagram feeds to monitor any signs of “unusual activity.”
Through its venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel (IQT), the CIA has made investments in “social media mining and surveillance” companies previously undisclosed. These include PATHAR, TransVoyant, Databricks, Dataminr, and Geofeedia.
The information was obtained from a document released by The Intercept, detailing the schedule of a recent “CEO Summit” of 28 IQT portfolio companies concluded in February. From the itinerary, the standout companies provided “unique tools to mine data from platforms such as Twitter.”
PATHAR has a product called “Dunami” that monitors social media sites for “networks of association, centers of influence and potential signs of radicalization.” These social media sites include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
TransVoyant offers procedures that analyze multiple data points to determine potential “decision-makers” who could organize “gang incidents” and situations threatening to the press. The tech company recently worked with the U.S. military to utilize satellite, radar, and drone surveillance data.
Dataminr has automated learning machines that mark trends in streams from Twitter by cross-referencing data gathered from other unusual clusters. These processes “directly license” Twitter data streams, for clients such as police departments, to “visualize” any sign of purported tendencies.
Geofeedia employs geotagging technology to monitor real-time movements, such as Greenpeace mobilizations, student protests, minimum wage rallies and other political activities. The data is utilized by corporations, including McDonald’s and the Mall of America, and law enforcement agencies in Detroit, Oakland, and Chicago, among other police departments.
A Violation of Privacy Rights?
Senior staff attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, Lee Rowland, believes such surveillance tactics employed by the CIA and other government bodies, along with private sectors, may infringe upon the public’s rights due to unwarranted suspicion.
“The courts have rightly recognized that when millions of bits of data are aggregated into a dossier about your behavior, that is no longer properly public and violates privacy rights,” said Rowland.
“When you have private companies deciding which algorithms get you a so-called threat score, or make you a person of interest, there’s obviously room for targeting people based on viewpoints or even unlawfully targeting people based on race or religion,” Rowland explained.”
…Read more @ techtimes.com
Facebook facing serious ‘sharing’ decline?
– San Jose Mercury News
“Facebook is working to combat a decline in people sharing original, personal content, the fuel that helps power the money machine at the heart of its social network, according to people familiar with the matter.
Overall sharing has remained “strong,” according to Facebook. However, people have been less willing to post updates about their lives as their lists of friends grow, the people said.
Instead, Facebook’s 1.6 billion users are posting more news and information from other websites. As Facebook ages, users may have more than a decade’s worth of acquaintances added as friends.
People may not always feel comfortable checking into a local bar or sharing an anecdote from their lives, knowing these updates may not be relevant to all their connections.
According to one of the people familiar with the situation, Facebook employees working on the problem have a term for this decline in intimacy: “context collapse.”
Personal sharing has shifted to smaller audiences on Snapchat, Facebook’s Instagram and other messaging services.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken at Facebook staff meetings this year about the need to inspire personal sharing, the people said. Facebook has tried several tactics to encourage more of these posts, such as an “On This Day” feature launched last year that brings up memories from past years that users might want to talk about again, or reminders about special occasions like Mother’s Day.
Facebook has also prompted users to post the most recent photos and other recently accessed content from their phones.
Original sharing of personal stories — rather than posts about public information like news articles — dropped 21 percent year over year as of mid-2015, The Information, a tech news site, reported Wednesday. Facebook said in a statement that “the overall level of sharing has remained not only strong, but similar to levels in prior years.”
…Continue reading the article by Sarah Frier of Bloomberg News @ San Jose Mercury News